THIS IS 2019 INFO! Info for 2020 is COMING SOON!


  • LODGING: A 4-night stay at the Guest House Retreat Center, which has lovely B&B-style rooms (registration is on Friday August 30 from 3 pm - 6 pm. CHECKOUT is on Tuesday September 3 at 10 am)

  • MEALS: 3 healthy, delicious expertly-prepared meals each day, including great vegetarian options; Friday dinner through Tuesday breakfast is included

  • TUITION includes all of this and more:

    • Songwriting classes each day, led by some of America's premiere touring singer-songwriters

    • Elective classes each day, covering topics such as performance, guitar, and the business side of music

    • Small class size, lots of individual attention

    • One-on-one coaching from members of our team of excellent Instructors

    • Opportunities for live performance in a professional listening room setting

    • Lots of networking and fun with other aspiring musicians all weekend long

    • Late-night song circles all weekend long

    • A sweet bag of swag, including a nice journal

    • A pizza party on closing night (Monday night)

    • Free 90-day Access Pass to Ellis' lessons and ALL lessons on TrueFire ($75 value)



We can still accommodate several more Commuters at NESR IV! So, if you live near enough to Chester CT you can commute each day, OR you can get a nearby hotel.

FULL TIME COMMUTER OPTION: $733 per person TOTAL for Friday night - Monday night.
(Breakdown: TUITION $500, ALL MEALS $233)

ONE DAY COMMUTER OPTION: $271 per person TOTAL for Sat or Sun or Mon.

(Breakdown: TUITION: $200, 3 MEALS $71)

Also, we *may* have a room or two left at the Guest House! Cost is $1312 per person TOTAL for a private room (Breakdown: Tuition $500, Lodging for 4 nights and all meals $812).



Write to Laurie at to say you want to come and confirm there is a spot. Then simply PayPal your payment to VERY IMPORTANT: You must choose the "Sending to a friend" option. If you can't find this, please use METHOD B (below). Within 48 hours, you'll get an email confirmation that you are enrolled.


Write to Laurie at to say you want to come and confirm there is a spot. Then make your check out to New England Songwriters Retreat and mail it to:

Laurie MacAllister c/o NESR

1604 Calvary Circle #301

Charlottesville VA 22911

Within 48 hours of receiving your check, you'll get an email confirmation that you are enrolled.



Q: What if I'm brand new to songwriting?

A: No problem - we'd love to have you! Students' experience ranges from never having written a song to having written many dozens. All are welcome and encouraged.

Q: What if I'm brand new to playing guitar?

A: Again, no problem - we'd love to have you! Most Students bring a guitar to the Retreat and experience ranges from true beginner to advanced. All are welcome and encouraged.


Q: What if piano is my main instrument?

A: No problem - we'd love to have you! A handful of Students (maybe 10%) play piano instead of guitar. While we will make every effort to provide multiple keyboards at the Retreat, please bring an electronic keyboard if piano is your main instrument.

Q: What if I don't play an instrument at all?

A: The great majority of Students do bring a guitar to the Retreat, and it's a very helpful tool for songwriting. However, of course it's possible to write songs without an instrument in hand, so we'd love to have you.

Q: Can I bring my spouse, who would not be taking classes?

A: We're happy to accommodate. Please email Laurie at for details and prices.

Q: Is it fun?

A: Yes.

MORE QUESTIONS? Just email Laurie at